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"The First Noel" Lyrics, Text Format

As well as beginning the song, each phrase ends on the mediant, only one interval (P4), and an ending which is imperfect.


  • Grade: Fifth
  • Origin: England – Traditional Carol
  • Key: D Major
  • Time: 3/4
  • Form: staves: ABABCB – phrases: AAa – song: AB, verse/refrain
  • Rhythm: beginners: | ta/ ti ti ti | syncopation,
    | ta/a ti ti | syncopation, | ta ta ta |
  • Pitches: intermediate: Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do
  • Intervals: beginners: P4: Do\So, So/Do
  • Musical Elements: notes: dotted half, half, dotted quarter, quarter, eighth; pickup beat, two double barlines, verse/refrain, vocal slurs, syncopation; melody primarily steps up and down the major scale, with each phrase ending on the mediant, imperfect ending: final note is not the tonic
  • Key Words: world geography: England, Bethlehem; Christmas carol, sacred, Bible stories, birth of Jesus, Noel (Christmas), angel, certain, shepherds, night so deep, star in the east, beyond, earth, continued, wise men, country, nigh (near), northwest; abbreviation: o’er (over)


“The First Noel”

The first Noel, the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.
They looked up and saw a star,
Shinning in the east, beyond them far;
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
3. And by the light of that same star,
Three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a king was their in tent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
4. This star drew nigh to the northwest,
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there, it did both stop and stay,
Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Additional Formats (click to enlarge)
"The First Noel" Music Format
Click to enlarge: "The First Noel" Beats Format
Click to Enlarge: "The First Noel" Rhythm Format
pitch numbers
Click to Enlarge: "The First Noel" Pitch Number Format
Click to Enlarge: "The First Noel" Solfeggio Format
letter names
Click to Enlarge: "The First Noel" Letter Names Format